The $500 million funding for an electric train fleet is a step toward an eco city Auckland, says Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey.
“This is great news for the West and for Auckland. Waitakere’s eco city vision is becoming regional.
“Electric rail is the future for Auckland. The idea of having a personal car is going out of date. Our children and grandchildren are going to take rail.”
Waitakere is investing heavily in its rail network and is building communities around rail hubs.
More than 250,000 rail passengers travel the Western Line every month and patronage is growing.
The Henderson Central Rail Station was opened in 2006.
A $300 million transit development with capacity for electric rail is due to open in New Lynn in October 2010.
Double tracking of the Western Line will be completed as part of the wider upgrade to the Auckland rail network.
Electric rail complements the environmental vision of Waitakere and brings economic gains to Auckland, says Mayor Harvey.
“We have done a lot of work establishing a strong rail network in Waitakere. This funding proves it was a great investment. It’s going to create a better transport structure for all Auckland.
“A good transport system goes hand in hand with a good economy. Electrification is going to stimulate further economic development and give returns across Auckland.”
He only wishes the investment had been announced earlier.
“Electrification has been delayed for the better part of this year, but better late than never.
“The transition to the Auckland Council and Regional Transport Agency must not create any more delays.”